It is high time that certified professional midwives be licensed in Missouri. For the past 50 years, these highly skilled practitioners have been deemed felons. During the past 20 years, a small but mighty group has been at the capitol daily, fighting for change. Every spring begins with a bill to legalize midwives but ends with disappointment for home-birth families. Our state leaders keep deciding that women cannot make their own decisions and should not have freedom over their own births. This is a public health outrage, and it has gone on long enough.
It won’t be long before I am having babies myself, and I should be able to find a home-birth midwife in the Yellow Pages. Enough talk on safety already. The research is overwhelming; midwives and home births are safe — in fact, optimal! Read the certified professional midwives 2000 study in the British Medical Journal. Rent “The Business of Being Born.” Browse www.childbirthconnection.org. You’ll soon see this isn’t about safety. It’s about power.
The power should not reside within the capitol walls. The power should not rest with the Missouri State Medical Association. The power should belong to Missouri people. I am a Missourian, and I am saying “yes” to midwives. I’m saying “no” to collaborative practice and I’m saying “no” to the Board of Healing Arts as well. And I’m in good company. I wonder when my government, the public servants, will start listening.
There are four weeks left to license midwives this year, and it’s time. It was time half a century ago.